St Marys Police have formed a strike force to investigate two fires that destroyed two separate homes at the same location two years apart.
In the early hours of Thursday 6 October 2011 residents in Thomas Street, St Marys, were woken by a loud explosion and subsequent fire at a house in the street. The home was not occupied at the time.
Fire and Rescue NSW and police attended the blaze. Once the fire was extinguished the premises was subject to forensic examination, which provided evidence about how the fire was started.
St Marys detectives prepared a report for the information of the Coroner.
After some months the premises was sold, and the new owners built another house after knocking down the existing damaged structure.
The property was listed for sale, however in the early hours of Monday 1 July 2013, the premises was again significantly damaged by explosion and fire.
The housewas unoccupied at the time, and it was significantly fire damaged.
St Marys detectives commenced a new investigation into this fire, with the premises being forensically examined by specialists from NSW Police Force Crime Scene.
Evidence was gathered in relation to the cause of the fire and detectives are hopeful of a break-through when DNA and fingerprint results are returned.
Exhibits located at the scene are continuing to undergo examination and testing.
After speaking to witnesses, officers have been told about people and vehicles seen leaving the vicinity after both fires.
St Marys Detectives have established Strike Force Ragle to investigate these fires.
St Marys Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Barry Vincent, said the financial loss suffered as a result of these fires was significant.
“The damage caused runs into many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The owners of the property are distraught over the damage to their house. The financial costs are compounded by the stress of seeing a newly built home destroyed in these circumstances,” he said.
Det Insp Vincent said investigations are progressing, however, appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
“Both of these fires are believed to have been deliberately lit.
“Detectives are working hard to piece together evidence found at the scene and information obtained through witnesses and other sources.
“They are hopeful of gathering sufficient evidence to bring those responsible to account and are following promising leads.
“Several members of the public have already contacted police in relation to these offences and provided some valuable information.
“We believe there may be other people who have some knowledge of the fires who haven’t yet spoken with police, and I’m urging anyone with information to come forward,” he said.
Anyone with information concerning these fires is asked to contact St Marys Detectives on 9677 7437 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000